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Roey J. Gafter Ben-Gurion University

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Abstract

This paper surveys current research on the sociophonetics of Modern Hebrew, meaning the research of phonetic variation in Hebrew speech that is socially conditioned, or interpreted as socially meaningful. The paper discusses recent methodological and theoretical advances in sociophonetic research on production and perception, and illustrates how these have been implemented in Hebrew and influenced our understanding of Hebrew sociolinguistics. It further highlights a number of key sociolinguistic variables that have received the most attention in quantitative research on segmental variation: the pharyngeal segments (ħ) and (ʕ), the Hebrew rhotic (r), the glottal fricative (h), and the diphthong (ej). The paper concludes with a discussion of future directions and additional variables of interest which have the potential to advance the growing field of Hebrew sociophonetics.

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